Austin Child Custody Lawyer

Child custody – called conservatorship in Texas – is an important issue in any divorce involving children, and is also one of the most hotly contested issues. Ultimately, the court bases its decisions related to conservatorship on what it determines is in the best interests of the children.

Free Consultation

Legal Expert

Child Custody

In the State of Texas, child custody is referred to as conservatorship, and it’s generally one of every divorcing parent’s primary concerns. The court answers every question related to conservatorship with what it considers to be in the best interests of the children involved.

If you are facing a concern related to the conservatorship of your children, contacting an experienced Austin child custody attorney at Philley Law is always the best path forward. We work to protect the parental rights of our clients and ensure that they maintain ongoing relationships with their children whenever possible.

Parents as Conservators

The State of Texas recognizes three categories of conservator, including:

  • Joint Managing Conservator – Except in extreme situations, Texas courts find that both parents should be joint managing conservators of their shared children. This means that both parents generally share the important rights and responsibilities related to making important decisions on behalf of their children. Such decisions include such matters as how the children will be educated, what kind of religious upbringing they will have, what kind of health care they will receive, which extracurricular activities they will participate in, and more. What joint managing conservatorship does not mean is that the children will necessarily split their time exactly equally between both parents. This is a matter of the possession order. Typically, however, one joint managing conservator – known as the custodial parent – will have the exclusive right to determine where the children will live – usually within a specific geographic area.
  • Sole Managing Conservator – There are situations in which the court finds – for any number of important reasons – that it is in the children’s best interests for only one parent to take on the role of conservator, and that parent becomes the sole managing conservator. This means that this parent becomes solely responsible for the extremely consequential decision-making role. Having a history of violence against the other parent, a record of child abuse or neglect, a history of alcohol or drug abuse, and/or a demonstrated absence from the children can all preclude one parent from becoming a joint managing conservator. Even if one parent is the sole managing conservator, the other parent typically retains the right to visitation with the children (to some degree).
  • Possessory Conservator – If one parent is named the sole managing conservator, the other parent might be named the possessory conservator, which is in keeping with the state’s stance that children are best served by having both parents in their lives and by forging an ongoing relationship with both parents (barring extreme situations). While the possessory conservator maintains parental rights, he or she generally does not have the final say on most decisions of importance related to the children.

Possession Orders

Possession refers to when the children are with either parent, and there is a standard possession order in place that is usually considered to be in the best interest of the children (once they have reached the age of three). If you and your divorcing spouse are able to come to a mutually acceptable possession schedule that addresses your unique needs and concerns as a family, you may do so, and you won’t need the court’s intervention in the matter. If you are unable to do so, the court will typically impose the standard possession order that includes that the noncustodial parent will have the children for:

  • The first, third, and fifth weekends of each month
  • Thursday evenings during the school year
  • Every other holiday
  • A 30-day visit during summer vacations

When the parents live more than 100 miles apart, this schedule is modified to accommodate for this fact. Further, it is always within the court’s discretion to impose any possession order that it finds is in keeping with the children’s best interests.

Legal Representation At Your Service

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your legal situation, I am more than willing to help you solve your situation in the least stressful manner possible.

    The best law firm. They got me the maximum amount possible for my settlement and reduced my Bill' couldn't be happier.

    Ray Zhang

    Austin, Texas

    © 2020 Law Office of Chris Philley, PLLC. - All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Sitemap

    The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship